Well, finally my office is complete. The final touch was added today. The sign.
Just after the completion of the construction, I went online and found a woman who hand makes house signs and asked her if she could do me a special one. I created a mock up in Photoshop and attached it. She seemed perfectly cool with the idea and quoted me a price, which I promptly paid.
Fast forward a few months and it still hadn’t arrived. I emailed her, asking what had happened. She said she’d posted it. She had a tracking number that showed it had arrived on 16 October. (I was a bit annoyed because that was the day I’d gone to the Ada Day Live thing. I’d left the house at 4pm and the parcel was delivered at 4:09!)
I went to the post office to find out what had happened to it because there’d been no card popped through the letterbox. The generally quite helpful chap behind the little window said there was nothing there for me and I needed to get the tracking number from the sender.
So, another day goes by while I wait for her to send me the tracking number.
Then, this morning, I went down, armed with all the tracking details, the tracking number and my passport for identification. The same generally helpful chap took one look at the piece of paper I thrust at him and told me I was at the wrong place. I needed to take it to the general counters and they’d help me.
I’ve noticed that about half the staff at the general counters of our post office are a bit odd. I have no idea whether it is post office policy to employ a fair percentage of odd people in order to escape accusations of discrimination but we seem to be flying the flag. This means that you have a 50/50 chance of being served by an odd person.
Generally I use the machines for any rare bit of postage I need to do or visit the aforementioned generally helpful chap when I pick up a parcel so rarely need to test my luck in the counter lottery. Today I lost, big time.
Naturally, because I choose not to drive a car, I always have issues when it comes to identification. The post office is usually the worst. The fact that I knew who the parcel was for, who it had come from, a good guess what size it was, the tracking number and other parcel travel information, a British passport and an honest, smiling face, meant nothing to the woman behind the conveniently thick glass of the counter. I needed something with my address on it.
I groaned and shook my head then suddenly thought.
“Hang on,” I exclaimed as I rustled through my wallet, “I have a repeat prescription here with my name and address on it!”
She looked utterly confused as I passed the piece of paper through to her. She stared at it for a long time as if examining a skewer with beef and cheese dripping from it. I could almost hear her brain trying to grind through the processes required to figure out what she was looking at.
Eventually she looked at me with her odd face and almost grunted. She then thrust the prescription at me and ran away, into the back section. I wasn’t sure whether to stay, move to another counter or leave the post office. It occurred to me that maybe I’d driven her to do something drastic
I was about to raise the alarm when she returned, parcel in hand. She told me to sign something, which I gladly did. She gave me the parcel then asked if there was anything else she could do for me in that annoying way they do in our post offices. It’s like when you buy something at a station and the person serving asks if you want a drink with it. If I wanted something else, I’d ask for it.
I told her she might want to pass on the information that I was not left a card and this made things a bit difficult through no fault of my own. She grunted that she had nothing to do with that. You see, the odd ones are rarely helpful.
Anyway, I carried my sign triumphantly home and unwrapped it. It was beautiful. Then, shortly after hanging up the phone from Mum and Dad, it was on the door.